Raising funds to equip a health centre in The Gambia

Updated on Dec 03, 2019 by Shirley Cherry

Blog > Raising funds to equip a health centre in The Gambia

The African Oyster Trust joins THE BIG GIVE #ChristmasChallenge18 – raising funds to equip a lab for the Jappineh Village Health Centre in The Gambia.

The African Oyster Trust is a small charity dedicated to providing healthcare and pre-school education in The Gambia, West Africa. We are taking part in the Big Give #ChristmasChallenge18. Our aim is to raise funds to equip a lab for Jappineh Village Health Centre which provides care for 30,000 people.

The Big Give, the UK’s biggest online match-funding campaign, starts at noon on 27th November until noon on 4th December. Any donations through theBigGive.org.uk will be DOUBLED. A gift of £10 will become £20, or £50 will become £100.

The lab will help diagnose and treat malaria and other tropical illnesses, bringing relief to thousands. We are also looking to raise funds to buy a portable X-Ray machine and an Ultra Sound machine. Please help us reach our target.

Why does The Gambia need our help?

Despite a thriving tourist industry, The Gambia is still a poor country and away from the cities and tourist areas along the coast, health care services are few and far between. Jappineh is in Jarra, Matsakonko region of Central Gambia, a remote location where people rely mainly on subsistence farming.

Before the village health centre was built the nearest facilities were a good two hours away.


What impact is the charity having on health issues?

The African Oyster Trust opened the Jappineh Health Centre, also known as the ‘Sir Howard Dalton Clinic’, in 2009. The medical centre is the only one serving a population of around 30,000 people from Jappineh and surrounding 20 smaller villages.

It now employs seven full-time members of medical staff, supported by the Trust, and treats about 700 patients every month. Having a health centre means ailments can be treated immediately.

above: Jappineh Health Centre, also known as the ‘Sir Howard Dalton Clinic’, in 2009

Following the opening of the medical centre there has been a general improvement in the Jappineh's community health. There has been better survival and cure rates for malaria and other infectious tropical diseases, “the African Oyster Trust's work has transformed the welfare of people in the district and beyond,” says Chief Alhagie Dampha.

Having a well-stocked dispensary saves people buying costly drugs from a retail pharmacy.

It is often difficult securing skilled expertise to service the technical equipment and to find replacement parts for complex equipment such as centrifuge and solar fridge.

above: a solar powered fridge

We routinely purchase lab equipment through the Department of State for Health Central Laboratory stores so that we can call upon their expertise and store of spare parts whenever required. We want to build on this healthcare success story.

Help us equip our new laboratory

One of the aims of this year’s Big Give campaign is to equip our newly built laboratory as well as providing ongoing consumables, parts and maintenance for equipment, and training for the lab staff. These facilities will ensure quick, cheap and accurate diagnosis - accessible to all the community.

By having a fully equipped laboratory on site, staffed by a trained lab technician, patients will no longer have to travel in order to have routine blood tests.

The onsite facilities will allow fast and accurate diagnosis of common tropical diseases leading to appropriate treatment and better survival rates.

Before, problems in childbirth often had fatal consequences, but there has been a measurable decrease in both maternal and infant mortality. We are delighted to report that the Jappineh Medical Centre is now delivering 20-30 babies every month, and as a result of the anti-natal care being offered, birth weights are above the Gambian average.

With the additional funds raised through the Big Give we plan to add a portable X-Ray machine and an Ultra Sound machine to the equipment already in the Health Centre so we can improve our medical care even further.

Please help us achieve our fundraising targets!

One donation TWICE the impact!

theBigGive.org.uk the African Oyster Trust – Project ‘Equip a lab.’

The African Oyster Trust is one of many charities working in The Gambia, for further information visit our
Charity Directory.


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